Wing Prints


With all the early snow in the U.S. this winter, birds have been making impressions – literally. We’re seeing various wing prints in the snow. It makes me wonder about the reliability of identifying these prints.

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Barred Before Bosque


Before I left Vermont for New Mexico, a few Barred Owls came visiting by email. Kerry and Linda Hurd, fittingly, encountered this Barred Owl above while attending the beautiful memorial celebration of Bob Spear’s life at his Birds of Vermont Museum in Huntington, Vermont, on October 25. Kerry and Linda are dedicated Museum supporters. It was nice …

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On the Road with Cranes and Geese


My apologies for the scarcity of late here on the blog. Once my work was done on the new web site for the Vermont Center for Ecostudies, I hit the road with Ruth for a month of writing in a cabin somewhere in New Mexico. (Ruth will be playing a lot of violin — I mean a lot.) …

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Your New Way to Wildlife


Here’s one more reason to go online before going outside. My pals at the Vermont Center for Ecostudies (VCE) today launched a new web site that features breaking news about birds, insects, amphibians and other wildlife here in Vermont and around the world. VCE’s “Newsfeed” is designed to highlight pioneering wildlife research and to inspire …

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Fertility and Flight in a Winter Moth


Note: Here’s an encore performance of my blog post and independent film about moths you’ll find in the woods this chilly month. In the angled daylight of November, a moth crossed my path in barren woods. Yeah, a moth, in the cold – a lesson in adaptation, fertility, and feminine sacrifice going by the name …

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The Last Dragonfly


Even after our first hard frost and our last soft serve, after you've raked your leaves and mounted your snow tires, after the warblers have abandoned us for the tropics and you yourself have abandoned notions of warmth, and even after this cold political season – even then a dragonfly of summer remains.

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A Halloween Dragon

Halloween Pennant (Celithemis eponina) / © Bryan Pfeiffer

Nothing scary here – unless you’re a mosquito or some other small flying insect. Halloween Pennants (Celithemis eponina), which hunt and eat insects, range across the eastern US. They perch at the tips of low vegetation and twirl in the summer breezes like pennants. Pennant are among the few dragonflies whose wings are marked, sort …

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Vermont’s First Snowy Owl of Autumn


Reed Webster found this Snowy Owl in Westminster, Vermont, on October 25 – our first report of the season. The Arctic has come visiting a bit early this fall. When they do come, Snowys usually begin to arrive here in New England by mid to late November. But more Snowy Owls may be in our future. My quick look at an …

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